Birth, Reproduction and Liberation Politics: a Radical Caregivers Roundtable Left Forum 22 May 2016
Capitalism attempts to appropriate every aspect of our reproduction and to subordinate it to needs of the profit-driven market.
To overcome the constraints capitalism places on our capacity to reproduce ourselves and our communities in ways that support our collective well-being we need to enlist the direct participation of all care giving communities – especially those who have historically been silenced. This means far more decision-making power granted to those whose bodies serve to sustain, reproduce and literally give life to all others, yet who are also most often disenfranchised at the moment of reproduction.
In bringing a diversity of birth workers, mothers, and activists into conversation this panels demonstrates creative ways to reclaim and transform the meaning of “reproduction” beginning with the ways we reproduce our bodies and children through birth.
Even if you don’t have children or never intend to have them however, this panels also seeks to show: advocating for birth justice is about much more than the moment of birth.
Reclaiming autonomy over this transformative act has the potential to completely refashion how we relate to our own bodies, our families and each other and with it to bring new energy to our ability to co-create a society founded in respect, justice and co-operation This is no less than a revolutionary project which illuminates vital connections between birth, bodily autonomy and liberatory justice throughout society.
speakers: Alana Apfel, Silvia Federici, Mai’a Williams
Alana Apfel Alana Apfel is a birth worker and writer. She is the author of Birth Work as Care Work: Stories from Activist Birth Communties (PM Press, 2016). As a birth justice activist she has been involved with the San Francisco General Hospital Doula Program, BirthWays center in Berkeley, and the growing international BirthKeepers coalition. She now lives and works in Bristol, UK, where she part of th Positive Birth Movement and training to be a midwife in the National Health Service.
Silvia Federici Silvia Federici is a feminist activist, writer, and teacher. She was one of the co-founders of the International Feminist Collective, the organization that launched the international campaign for Wages For Housework. She is author of Caliban and the Witch (Autonomedia, 2004) and Revolution At Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle (PM Press, 2012).She has written essays on feminist theory, women’s history and more recently for a feminist reconstruction of the commons.
Mai’a Williams Mai’a Williams is the creator and director of Water Studio, which supports and co-creates with underground community artists in Cairo, Egypt. Her essays, short stories and poetry have been published in make/shift, Mamaphiles, Tenacious, Popshot, Woman’s Work, Lilith Devotional, and Colored Girls. She is the instigator of the Outlaw Midwives movement, zines, and blog, which shifts the discourse around birth, life, death, and healing by offering a vision of radical empowerment and accountability.